East Wenatchee, Wash. – Spencer Ellis of Wenatchee shot rounds of 72-70-69 to finish 5-under in winning the 14th Washington Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship.
The three-day stroke-play championship was held this week at Wenatchee Golf and Country Club in East Wenatchee, Wash.
Traditionally contested over 36 holes, 2023 marked the first year that the Men’s Mid-Amateur was held as a 54-hole event. The field was cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes.
After 12 holes in today’s final round, Ellis was tied at the top with Paul Mitzel of Quincy, but Ellis poured in birdies on holes 13 and 15 to put him two shots up on Mitzel, and took it home from there to secure the title.
“It was a great week. This is my home course, so I think I had some advantage on the greens in particular,” Ellis said after today’s final round. “It’s a narrow course, so I definitely had a game plan going into this week. Hit drivers where I can, lay up where I need to. Keeping the ball below the hole; if you have downhill putts you’re probably not going to make a lot.”
Ellis’ dad caddied for him during the week, and during today’s final round he had 40-50 people in the gallery following him.
“That was really awesome,” he said. “They’re great sports about it, and it definitely felt like a home-field advantage. I played okay in round one and steadily got better as the week went on.”
Ellis is a past club champion at Wenatchee Golf and Country Club. Born and raised in Wenatchee, he played golf on the Eastmont High School golf team, graduating in 2010. He now teaches history and social studies at Eastmont, and coaches the boys’ golf team.
“I tell my players (on the high school golf team) that I lead by example, and am excited to share this with my guys, that if you put in the work and put in the time, good things happen,” he said.
Hot on the heels of Ellis were the dominant players of the past several Washington Mid-Amateur championships. Mitzel finished runner-up in last year’s championship and was seeking to close the deal this year. He began the final round at the top of the leaderboard, with a two-shot lead over Ellis, but his 1-over-par 73 had him finishing runner-up for the second year in a row.
Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho finished third, four shots back of Ellis. Hatley is a six-time WA Golf Mid-Amateur Player of the Year, and has twice won this championship (2016, 2018).
Finishing fourth is Jacob Koppenberg of Bellingham, who shot even-par 72 in all three rounds. Koppenberg won this championship in 2021, held that year on his home course of Bellingham Golf and Country Club.
To be eligible for the Men’s Mid-Amateur, contestants must have been 25 years of age or older by July 25, 2023.
The Men’s Mid-Amateur is one of 14 championships conducted annually by WA Golf.
About Wenatchee Golf & Country Club
Celebrating its centennial this year, Wenatchee Golf and Country Club is nestled in the heart of the Wenatchee Valley. Surrounded by orchards, vineyards, and the majestic Cascade Mountains, the course is renowned as a top course in the Northwest and rewarded with the opportunity to host multiple PNGA championships, the tree-lined layout is always consistently and impeccably maintained. For more information visit wenatcheegolfclub.org.